The laptop that’ll get you through COVID-19 and beyond

The ASUS – 2-in-1 15.6″ 4K laptop functions as a school computer, work computer, editing device, and video game machine, used either in tablet mode or desktop.
Kyle Keegan | The Wolverine

Whether you are a student entering college or a graduate entering adulthood, it can be agreed that finding the right laptop is difficult. You want a laptop to handle the workload and the fun; a laptop that can be something else too, for your hobbies and extracurricular needs. Everyone wants the laptop that checks all the boxes yet still feels familiar and inviting. You can buy a Macbook but you might not like the operating system; you can go familiar with a Dell or an HP but you might not like the specs. As someone who has experienced this dilemma and recently had to replace a Dell Inspiron (because it couldn’t handle the updated Adobe Premiere at the time), I can say, for at least now, it’s time to take a chance on the underrated laptop manufacturer, ASUS, and their 2-in-1 15.6″ 4K Ultra HD Touch-Screen Intel Core i7 – 16GB Memory NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 2TB HDD + 256GB SSD laptop.

Yes. That’s quite a mouthful. While not as catchy as the names of your previous devices, what you are getting with one of ASUS’s products is not a name that rolls off the tongue; rather, it’s super-long, blunt title tells you everything that this laptop offers in its tech specifications.

Pictured here on the left side of the laptop (going from left to right): a slot for cameras’ SD cards, a USB 2.0 port, and the power button.
Kyle Keegan | The Wolverine

Let’s look at each spec individually:

  1. 2-in-1
    • The ability to switch from desktop mode to tablet.
    • Opportunities include mobile games, streaming apps, gaming apps, free-hand design, etc.
  2. 15.6″ 4K Ultra HD Touch-Screen
    • Beautiful display with a bigger-sized, higher-resolution screen.
    • LED-LCD touch-screen is a positive, niche addition, given its 2-in-1 capabilities. It can be turned off if prompted.
    • Includes stylus input. (Windows Ink)
  3. Intel Core i7 Processor
    • Good value as an 8th generation processor.
    • Will come in handy with design, video/picture editing, and gaming/streaming.
  4. 16GB of RAM (Random-Access Memory)
    • “RAM determines how efficiently the device can handle large amounts of information at one time” (Best Buy).
    • Important with video/picture editing, design, and gaming/streaming.
  5. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Graphics Driver
    • Graphics driver is “responsible for displaying image content and decoding/encoding video content in programs and games” (Best Buy).
    • Good value aging 3-4 years since implementation in 2016/2017.
    • Improves video/picture editing and design, along with streaming and gaming at the some of the highest graphics/display settings.
  6. 2TB HDD (Hard Disk Drive) + 256GB SSD (Solid State Drive)
    • Responsible for data storage.
    • Plenty of storage for HDD, along with decent amount for SSD.
Picture here on the right side of the laptop (going from left to right): a USB-C port, a headphone jack, a USB 3.0 port, a HDMI port, and a charging port.
Kyle Keegan | The Wolverine

Obviously, some of the computer’s immediate pros are its speed and performance towards any given task: browser-looking, video/picture editing, streaming, etc. (I can’t speak for gaming currently, but for having a graphics driver that some professional gamers still use, I would say it handles gaming decently.) Additionally, the laptop offers some ports that are hard to find on other brands, such as an HDMI port (which you can actually use to connect gaming consoles and TV inputs) and the classic headphone jack. (Don’t worry. It also has Bluetooth capabilities for AirPod owners.)

On the other hand, the laptop does suffer some problems of its own: loud performance noises, hot temperatures, and, at times, an unresponsive tracking-pad. This shows that the specs are pushing this relatively light, 4.63 pound laptop to its limits (ASUS). I did notice this increased while using the more demanding apps (Adobe, I’m looking at you), and after updating my graphics driver to be compatible with the Creative Suite, it became even more apparent. In my opinion, the most annoying problem has to be the tracking-pad, as it is the only tool that seems to lag with this product.

Along with being a HDMI, NVIDIA, and Intel supported product, the laptop has been approved by Energy Star for its energy-saving abilities and by Pantone for its colors and display.
Kyle Keegan | The Wolverine

ASUS’s computer has been received positively all over the web, with a Google rating of 4.4/5, a 4.6 rating on Target, a 4.5 rating on Slickdeals, and many more of the similar range. One listing on Best Buy shows it priced at $1,549.99, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it reduced by a couple hundreds dollars from time to time (like it was for me recently on a sale). So far, the laptop deserves its 4-and-a-half star rating and my personal recommendation. Given how most other competing laptops are just as expensive (or even more so) as this product, the customer will get a lot of bang for their buck here. Just be aware that it’ll be a loud bang.